Friday, December 31, 2004


Sophie was a small cat. Mom told me that when she and Sophie met she thought Sophie was a little baby she was so small.

This was in Providence, right after a move from Wilmington, NC. When Mom and Eddie were moving into their new apartment, this little gray tiger cat with white feet came bounding over and announced, "My name is Sophie. I live in the neighborhood. Do you have any kids I can play with?"

Mom said, "Well, I have a little boy, Eddie, but he doesn't go out."

And Sophie said, "Well, maybe I can come in some time."

Every day Sophie would come over to visit. This went on for ages. Mom learned that Sophie was really homeless, and that the girls in the house next door would feed her occasionally. (They called her "Baby," probably because she was so small, but that wasn't her true and secret name.) Sophie would supplement her diet with whatever she could hunt down, and she always let Mom know how well she'd done in her endeavors by calling to her from the alley next to the house until she came to the window to heap praise.

When the girls next door moved, Mom took over feeding duties. Sophie expanded her visits to sit outside the window where Eddie usually kept watch, and the two of them chatted through the glass. Mom wanted to take Sophie in but couldn't until she could take her to the vet, and the Cat Trust was almost dry after the move up the coast and only sporadic and interim temp jobs.

Then Mom landed a permanent job and all things cat related began to flow again. Sophie was able to come in at last! Except for being underweight and having some fleas, she was in good health as far as the usual problems go. No one could tell her exact age, though, and no one could know how long she'd been out on her own eating birds and who knows what and drinking from puddles of rain or worse. But she was so happy to have a real home that she repaid her gratitude with nothing but love and purrs. Mom said she was just the sweetest little cat ever.

Eventually Mom and the kids moved back to the southwest. In November 2002, six years after she joined the family, Sophie was diagnosed with chronic renal failure. I guess there are several causes for this, but it was probably due to that time of unknowns when she was out on her own.

It was about seven months after that when I came into the family. I was surprised to find her littler than me when I was only a tiny boy myself! She wouldn't play with me, though–she'd just stop and not move, which was no fun at all. I don't think her illness had much to do with it–her medications kept that pretty much under control for a long time. I think she was just too refined to play with reckless abandon like I did. And she spoke in a different language, too. She used short staccato chirps to communicate, and my only word at the time was "WEEEEEEeeee."

But this is her story.

When I was really really really really little, sparrows raised me. That's why I chirp but don't speak cat very well. But how this happened was that there was a windstorm one day and I saw all these baby birds falling out of a nest. The mom sparrow flew down and gathered all her babies and me, too, because I was about the same color and size, and right there with them! She couldn't tell I didn't have real wings because her babies were too young to have much to show either, so we looked pretty much the same to her and she was just relieved to have her family back. Anyway, when my sparrow brothers and sisters got bigger, my sparrow mom began to teach them to fly. I couldn't fly because I didn't have wings. That's when she realized I wasn't one of her babies after all. I had to leave because even though I was raised as a sparrow, I was still a cat. And cats eat sparrows, after all. So that's when I gave up being a sparrow and trying to fly. I started looking for my real home and my true mom and finally I found both.

When she could no longer fight her illness, Sophie grew her wings at last and flew away into her tenth life, one year ago, December 31, 2003.

Sophie napping Posted by Hello

Sophie Posted by Hello

We miss you.


  1. I very much loved this story. It's a beautiful one. I bet Sophie spoke bird very well.

    Thank you, William, for sharing this story.
    - Eponine's Cowboy

  2. I forgot to say how good it makes me feel that Eppy is playing with Sophie!

  3. I have been visitng your pages, from the time I started helping the girls blog, and found this lovely entry about Sophie and how, she grew her wings....Excuse me, I need a kleenex......

    You have such a way with words. I remember reading this before, but decided to revist again.

    I hope you are OK...loosing one we love is so hard, I am so sorry.



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